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Children neglected: Where cumulative risk theory fails

O'Hara, Mandy; Legano, Lori; Homel, Peter; Walker-Descartes, Ingrid; Rojas, Mary; Laraque, Danielle
Neglected children, by far the majority of children maltreated, experience an environment most deficient in cognitive stimulation and language exchange. When physical abuse co-occurs with neglect, there is more stimulation through negative parent-child interaction, which may lead to better cognitive outcomes, contrary to Cumulative Risk Theory. The purpose of the current study was to assess whether children only neglected perform worse on cognitive tasks than children neglected and physically abused. Utilizing LONGSCAN archived data, 271 children only neglected and 101 children neglected and physically abused in the first four years of life were compared. The two groups were assessed at age 6 on the WPPSI-R vocabulary and block design subtests, correlates of cognitive intelligence. Regression analyses were performed, controlling for additional predictors of poor cognitive outcome, including socioeconomic variables and caregiver depression. Children only neglected scored significantly worse than children neglected and abused on the WPPSI-R vocabulary subtest (p=0.03). The groups did not differ on the block design subtest (p=0.4). This study shows that for neglected children, additional abuse may not additively accumulate risk when considering intelligence outcomes. Children experiencing only neglect may need to be referred for services that address cognitive development, with emphasis on the linguistic environment, in order to best support the developmental challenges of neglected children.
PMID: 25869185
ISSN: 1873-7757
CID: 1532872

Adolescents as victims and perpetrators of violence

Legano, Lori; McHugh, Margaret
The hallmark of adolescent development is risk-taking behavior, mostly benign in nature, with no sequelae in adulthood. For that small number of adolescents for whom risk-taking behaviors are dangerous, for themselves and others, there are common childhood factors that may lead to those behaviors. In studies of adolescent victims, as well as perpetrators, a common theme can be identified, ie, maltreatment. The adolescent who visits Internet chat rooms, meets unknown individuals, and is later sexually assaulted by that individual is often a victim of sexual abuse in earlier childhood. Studies demonstrate that when adolescents are perpetrators of violent acts, they have a history of childhood physical abuse and often ongoing exposure to violence in their homes. For victims and perpetrators, there can be a common source of primary prevention in children rather than secondary interventions later in adolescence. That source can be a medical care provider in a medical home. Discussion of Internet usage with a 10-year-old by a medical provider may prevent later victimization. Identification and provision of services to families involved in domestic violence situations can help children establish positive adult roles with peers and future partners.
PMID: 23705523
ISSN: 1934-4287
CID: 361772

Child abuse and neglect

Legano, Lori; McHugh, Margaret T; Palusci, Vincent J
PMID: 19138647
ISSN: 1538-3199
CID: 95410

Emergency contraception: are pediatric residents counseling and prescribing to teens?

Lim, Sylvia W; Iheagwara, Kelechi N; Legano, Lori; Coupey, Susan M
STUDY OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:(1) To assess pediatric residents' attitudes and practices related to counseling about and prescribing emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) for teens. (2) To determine whether attitudes, counseling, and prescribing practices vary among different levels of residency training. DESIGN/METHODS:Questionnaire. SETTING/METHODS:Two large inner-city academic medical centers in New York City. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS:Pediatric residents (PGY 1-3). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:Attitudes, counseling and prescribing patterns of ECPs by the pediatric residents RESULTS:101/120 residents participated in the survey; 35% PGY1, 38% PGY2, 28% PGY3. Less than a third (26%) reported counseling teens about the availability of ECPs during routine non-acute care visits and just over half (56%) provided ECP counseling during visits for contraception. Only 6% of pediatric residents reported that they prescribed ECPs often, while 42% never prescribed ECPs. The majority of the residents did not think that prescribing ECPs would encourage teens to practice unsafe sex or would discourage compliance with other contraceptive methods (70% and 68%, respectively). However, the majority (67%) also reported that they did not think that ECPs should be available over the counter, without prescription. Further analysis by year of training showed that more junior and senior residents than interns counseled adolescents about ECPs at both routine health care maintenance visits and at visits for contraception (32% vs 15%; 62% vs 42%, respectively), would provide adolescent girls with ECPs to have on hand prior to an episode of unprotected sex (52% vs 31%), and thought that ECPs should be available over the counter (39% vs 20%), P < 0.05. CONCLUSIONS:Pediatric residents are missing opportunities to prevent unintended teenage pregnancy but they become more likely to counsel about and prescribe ECPs as they progress through residency training.
PMID: 18549964
ISSN: 1873-4332
CID: 3405392


Legano, Lori
PMID: 17400830
ISSN: 1526-3347
CID: 72415

Screening for maternal depression in a low education population using a two item questionnaire

Cutler, C B; Legano, L A; Dreyer, B P; Fierman, A H; Berkule, S B; Lusskin, S I; Tomopoulos, S; Roth, M; Mendelsohn, A L
OBJECTIVE: To assess a two-question screening tool, the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), for identifying depressive symptomatology in economically disadvantaged mothers of children in pediatric settings and to explore risk factors associated with a positive depression screen. METHODS: A convenience sample of mothers was enrolled at an inner city well-child clinic with children age 3 days to 5 years. The PHQ-2 and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) (as reference scale) were completed. RESULTS: Ninety-four mothers participated. Agreement of the PHQ-2 and EPDS was moderate. The sensitivity of the PHQ-2 for identifying a positive screen on the EPDS was 43.5%; the specificity was 97.2%. The sensitivity of the PHQ-2 was higher for mothers with education beyond high school compared to those with less education. Perceived lack of support with child care and having two or more children were associated with a positive screen. The rate of positive screen was similar for mothers with infants and with older children. CONCLUSION: Given the low sensitivity of the PHQ-2 in lower educated mothers, additional research in populations with varying sociodemographic characteristics is indicated. Similar rates of symptoms for mothers within and beyond the postpartum period and mothers previously screened support the need for periodic screening
PMID: 17710366
ISSN: 1434-1816
CID: 78733

Emergency contraception: Are pediatric residents counseling and prescribing to teens? [Meeting Abstract]

Lim, SW; Legano, L; Iheagwara, KN; Coupey, SM
ISSN: 0031-3998
CID: 46528

Association of a posterior fourchette finding with other evidence of sexual abuse in prepubertal females

Legano, Lori A.; McHugh, Margaret M.; Rios, Elena M.; Mendelsohn, Alan L.; Fierman, Arthur H.; Palusci, Vincent J.; Dreyer, Benard P.
ISSN: 0031-3998
CID: 167084

Association of media violence with aggressive and antisocial behavior in young children [Meeting Abstract]

Daniel, AM; Mendelsohn, AL; Legano, LA; Vergara, SM; Dreyer, BP; Fierman, AH; Klein, M; Waxman, IM; Welles, RA; Anderson, LT
ISSN: 0031-3998
CID: 54666

Low-level lead exposure and cognitive development in early childhood

Mendelsohn AL; Dreyer BP; Fierman AH; Rosen CM; Legano LA; Kruger HA; Lim SW; Barasch S; Au L; Courtlandt CD
The authors studied toddlers with low-level lead exposure to determine whether adverse developmental effects were evident. The study sample consisted of a cohort of 68 children aged 12 to 36 months who had blood lead levels lower than 25 microg/dL on a routine screening in a large urban public hospital clinic. Children with blood lead levels between 10 and 24.9 microg/dL had a mean Mental Developmental Index (Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Second Edition) score that was 6.3 points lower than that of children with blood lead levels between 0 and 9.9 microg/dL (95% confidence interval: 0.6, 11.9). After adjusting for confounders, the difference was 6.2 points (95% confidence interval: 1.7, 10.8). Pediatricians and public health entities should continue in their efforts to reduce the lead burden through environmental control and ongoing surveillance
PMID: 10608372
ISSN: 0196-206x
CID: 11895